Freshmen meet with Emerson High School principal

CORE Construction/Frisco ISD

Aaron Boehmer, Editor-in-Chief

Soon to be Redhawks no more, freshmen zoned for Emerson High School next year met in the library during advisory Monday to talk with their new principal, former Lebanon Trail associate principal and Liberty assistant principal, Kristen Sommers. 

Students were able to see pictures of the school, as well as discuss various upcoming decisions that have to be made for the campus, which eased some nerves freshmen Aditi Darodkar had prior to the meeting. 

“Before the meeting, I have to admit, I was quite nervous,” Darodkar said. “I was wondering if I’d get all the right classes, not to mention that it’s going to be a very different change. But after the meeting, I feel a little bit better. I feel more confident because it really looked beautiful from the inside and they had all these great plans about what it could be, and if you think about it, next year’s sophomores will be the first graduating class, so that will be kind of cool.” 

And that was the intention of the meeting, according to Sommers. 

“The purpose of meeting with students today was really about letting them see some pictures of the building to ease some anxieties about coming to a new school that they’ve never been able to see and never been able to walk through,” Sommers said. “And also start talking about what we value and what our Emerson story is going to be. That’s going to drive so many decisions that we make, including our mascot, which is our next big decision that we need to start narrowing down what it is that we value so we can find that mascot that represents that for us.” 

For Darodkar, seeing pictures of her new school sparked excitement about its variety of features. 

“They had these loft spaces all over the school, and they had these grand stairs in the library,” Darodkar said. “[The loft spaces] come with a sense of responsibility that you have to clean up after yourself. They had TV’s so that you can connect your computer or watch presentations, and they had green screens so you could work on your video projects. So I thought the loft spaces all around the school were pretty cool. I’m just obsessed with how it looks aesthetically.” 

As the principal, Sommers drew on what she learned at her former schools in order to have the students involved in opening Emerson. 

“When I was at Lebanon Trail, I learned a lot of really good lessons; one of those is, the more that we bring students in, get their input, and give them the opportunity to be a part of the decision making process, the more ownership they have of the school and the campus and the more that it’s theirs,” Sommers said. “It’s not really about the adults in the room as much as it is the students, so when they can have the ownership of making those decisions and helping to really define what Emerson is and who we are, that makes it a more beneficial high school experience for them all the way around, and that’s what I really want for students.”

Rezoning 80 students on campus, as well as some from Independence, that live east of Custer, the school will open next fall to freshmen and sophomores. But the way of learning is still up in the air due to COVID-19. 

“Right now, I’m planning on things to be ‘back to normal’, hopefully no masks, no plastic partitions in the classrooms,” Sommers said. “However, if that happens, then we already have really good experience with how to handle and deal with those things, and I know the district is exploring options for virtual learning to continue, but because of TEA, I don’t really know what that’s going to look like yet. So right now, I’m planning to open a high school just like we have the other 10 Frisco high schools and then we’ll just kind of change and tweak that as we go, as we need to.”